Rubella, also known as German Measles, is an often mild disease whose symptoms can range from a fever and rash to signs too mild to detect. When contracted by a pregnant woman in her first 20 weeks, however, rubella can lead to Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS) in the fetus, and the effects can be devastating. The disease can cause severe growth and mental retardation, deafness and other developmental problems when the fetus becomes infected. Though the burden of CRS is not well documented, the WHO estimates that in developing countries alone 100,000 cases of CRS occur each year.
The Vaccine Advocacy and Education program at Sabin is dedicated to reducing the burden of preventable diseases by bringing together key stakeholders and leaders in government, private sector and civil society in order to foster cooperation, share information and best practices, and develop improved vaccine policy and access.